A Review of Vegan Business

Article Summary

  • Business is a powerful force (indeed, one of the most powerful) in modern society.
  • Our movement has a small (but growing!) set of organizations devoted to helping vegan businesses, vegan business owners, and people interested in the vegan business scene. Businesses dedicated to providing services to other businesses (rather than consumers) are called “business-to-business” models (B2B).
  • These organizations help with: networking, startup coaching, investing, finding jobs, marketing, programming and tech, and many other things.


One of the missions of AMP is to “bring together”—meaning to take the different pieces of our growing movement and help us see all of them in context, to see the full picture.

Today, we’re going to be doing that with the whole vegan business landscape. (Or at least a pretty big slice of it.)

Why Business Is Important

This might need no explaining to most people, but it’s a profound point that I want to spend a couple sentences on.

How do goods and services get created and distributed? How do resources change hands?

A Quick History of Commerce

As anthropologists have documented, the practice of trade has existed for millennia. If you have something that I want or need, and vice versa, then we’re both better off if we trade. But, this kind of trading can be tricky because it depends on you having exactly the thing I need, and me having exactly the thing you need. But, if we both use a shared currency—something that we agree is a generic representation of value—then you can give me currency for goods (or services), and I know I can spend that currency on anything I need later on, as long as the person I’m trading with accepts that currency.

Plato is credited as one of the first discoverers of “division of labor”—the idea that specialization leads to greater productivity—which has since become an axiom of business. In other words, it’s more efficient for you to grow corn while I cut down trees rather than both of us try to do both things. It’s more efficient to have one person maintain your database while another takes care of graphic design instead of both people trying to do both. The higher productivity of specialization combined with the flexibility of a generic currency is a very powerful combination.

Modern Economies

The most prevalent model for creating and exchanging resources today is called a mixed economy, where both governments (i.e. public sector) and free markets (i.e. private sector) are each partially responsible for creating goods and making them available to others. The extent to which each of these two sectors contributes to the economy is dependent on the policies in place at any given time: for example, how many subsidies are given to what industries, or which goods and services should be classified as public goods. The story of which sector should control water is one example of how these decisions aren’t straightforward.

There are other ways that goods and services change hands, such as bartering or free gifts, but these aren’t usually discussed as primary driving forces of economies. (Although the psychological effect of gift giving surely has an enormous influence on business and politics.)

This intricate interplay among businesses, government, and consumers is one of the most important aspects of society, and as such businesses are an incredibly powerful force that we should pay attention to.

The Infrastructure of Vegan Businesses

When we think about vegan businesses, we might picture restaurants and food companies (which we’ll cover briefly first). But there’s also a whole ecosystem of organizations that exist to help vegan businesses. These types of businesses are known as “business-to-business” models (or B2B), and some good examples of types of B2B businesses are marketing agencies, software as a service (SaaS) companies, and tech firms that help with needs like web development.

This article isn’t intended to be comprehensive, but hopefully will give you a good picture of some of the types of businesses that you might not have known of. If you’re a vegan business owner, you might find something useful here!

With that said, let’s start our look at the big picture of vegan business and its supporting infrastructure.

Vegan Companies and Products

Wikipedia has a very-incomplete list of vegan and vegetarian companies, and a quick Google search brings up various “listicles” of other vegan businesses (like 9 Vegan Startups You Need to Know About in 2018 and 5 Woman-Owned Vegan Businesses You Should Be Obsessed With) as well as other incomplete lists like this one or this one. If you’re looking for vegan or cruelty-free makeup brands, the list of lists is even longer. These days, new vegan companies are popping up so quickly that it’s hard to keep track of them all.

The organization Vegan Action takes the cake by far, though. They certify products as vegan (with the instantly-recognizable “V heart” logo), so their list of companies using their logo is very comprehensive. And although these are just companies with vegan products, and not necessarily vegan companies, it’s still impressive to see so many companies listed. There’s also the European site V-Label (with another recognizable certification logo), although I wasn’t able to find their list of certified products or companies.

Investing in Vegan Companies

If you’re interested in investing in vegan companies, there aren’t many options available right now since most of them are private—but there is a website called Vegan Launch dedicated to helping people find investment opportunities. (There are also opportunities to invest in early stage companies such as Billion Vegans through platforms like Wefunder.) Then, there are venture capital funds like New Crop Capital that “invest in companies developing meat, dairy, eggs and seafood with plant-based ingredients or through cellular agriculture, as well as companies that promote and distribute these products.”

As of mid-2018, there’s also now a US Vegan Climate Index stock index that investors can use to help them guide their investments towards companies that harm animals less, even if the investments aren’t in vegan companies. The index was created by some folks at Beyond Investing (here’s their other site), which is another platform for helping people invest in vegan businesses.

Vegan Jobs

For people looking for vegan or animal advocacy jobs, VeganJobs.com helps connect companies to individuals. There’s also the VegNews job board, as well as the job board maintained by the business services company Vegan Mainstream (and the corresponding Vegan Jobs Facebook page).

The organization 80,000 Hours is devoted to helping people find high-impact careers, with animal welfare work being one of the main problem areas, so their job board is also a great place to look. (As of this posting, there are 35 job postings under the “Factory Farming” problem area filter.)

Vegan Business Networking

There are some solid organizations in this category.

First, there’s Vegan Leaders network “for vegans working in corporate (esp. Fortune 500) management and business functions.” Talk about a powerhouse network of people who can really make a difference in the business world. To help executives (and other employees) make traction in the companies they work in, Vegan Leaders put together the Vegan Leaders Playbook with information on how to veganize a company from the inside out. Their official purpose is “to a) demonstrate the pro-vegan trend among business leaders, b) provide a peer network for corporate vegan influencers, c) engage members in valuable discussions and initiatives.”

Next, there’s the great networking group Vegan Ladyboss: “Vegan Ladyboss is a global community of vegan womxn who organize meetings all over the world to advance their careers and animal advocacy.” There are currently about 40 groups in different cities around the world, although the majority of the groups are distributed throughout the US—including one here in Boulder, Colorado! (There’s also Vegan Business Exchange, which looks similar.)

Finally, ever heard of Toastmasters? Well guess what—there’s a Vegan Toastmasters! It looks like there’s only one for now (in Los Angeles), but maybe more will pop up in the future.

Vegan Business Media

To kick this category off, there’s the eponymous Vegan Business Media run by Katrina Fox, and her podcast Vegan Business Talk. There’s vegconomist which bills itself as “the vegan business magazine”, and there’s also the (rather abandoned) website Vegan Business Magazine.

There’s the Vegan Trade Journal, the Vegan Trade Council, the Plant Based Foods Association, and even a Plant Based Foods of Canada which is comprised of companies such as Daiya, The Field Roast Company, and Beyond Meat Canada.

The Vegetarian Resource Group has a vegetarian business page with a decent amount of information (some recently updated, some a bit older), and The Vegan Society has a “your business” page with resources.

Starting and Running a Vegan Business

If you’re looking to start a vegan business, there’s certainly no shortage of ideas: just see here, here, here, here, and here. There are a lot of ideas out there—we just need people to run with them! There are also a lot of advice articles, such as Colleen Holland’s tips for starting a vegan business or Melissa Vanderhorst’s advice for starting a vegan business.

(As an interesting aside, I really do think we need more people who are willing to devote a significant amount of time and energy to developing the potential stored in a single idea. The founder of HappyCow, for example, started the website back in 1999 and put in years of work making it what it is today. There are something like 30 million vegans globally; imagine what would happen if each of us picked a project and put all of our effort into it.)

Finally, there are several organizations whose goal is to provide vegan entrepreneurs with coaching and training. Vegan Mainstream offers consulting and online courses for owners of vegan businesses. Smart Vegan Biz connects individuals with vegan franchising opportunities, and they also have an “Academy” section of their site.

Vegan Service Providers

As you’re starting your vegan business, you might need some services—and there are vegan organizations for that, too.

If you need help building a website or app, there’s Vegan Web Design or the solopreneur project TofuDesk. (There’s also Vegan Hacktivists, although they’re currently devoting all of their time to projects delegated by the organization You Are Their Voice.) For marketing, you could use Edgy Vegan Marketing, Sweet FireBrand, or V-GON Creative.

Of course, if you’re a plant-based or cell-based meat startup, there are the powerhouses of The Good Food Institute and New Harvest to help you out.

Miscellaneous—Vegan Travel

While not really in the category of vegan business associations or services, I find it pretty incredible how many vegan travel and cruise organizations there are:

Miscellaneous—Vegan Festivals & Events

There are also websites for vegan events:

Miscellaneous—Vegan Blockchain

And finally, this massive list wouldn’t be complete without including the far-reaching and rather-difficult-to-grasp Vegan Nation, the creators of the blockchain currency VeganCoin: “We in VeganNation, share this conviction and strongly believe that a designated coin will not only unite vegans, but empower the community, creating a force to be reckoned with. A strong and united community will be able to have a bigger impact on pressing global issues and make the vegan lifestyle more approachable and attainable.”


Woo! What a ride. So many links.

While not all of the groups I listed here are high-quality or recommendable by themselves, I think it’s really impressive to see the quantity and variety of organizations branding themselves as vegan. And, the more people work on these issues, the better the quality will become.

After all, it takes a lot of bad ideas to get a few good ones—but everyone in business knows that already.

Animal Movement Project (AMP) is a platform dedicated to building the movement for animals.

We share thoughts and ideas that can take the movement for animals from x to 10x. Our focus is predominantly on animals exploited for food since they account for more than 99% of the animals exploited by humans. The topics covered are often about ways to tie the pieces of the movement together or to fill in the gaps. We focus on connecting people, ideas, and resources to each other.

Animals in the Far Future, and How to Help Them

Article Summary

  • Around 74 billion land animals are killed by humans for food each year, and another 1 to 3 trillion fish are killed each year. In total, we could say there are somewhere around 1 trillion animals killed by humans each year for food.
  • Although that’s a big number, the majority of all animals ever killed by humans could exist in the future, especially if our current trends continue. If we assume that humans continue their current animal consumption for another 1,000 years, then almost all of the animals who will ever be killed by humans haven’t been born yet.
  • Since we care about all animals, we need to make sure our impact helps animals in the future—either by ensuring that they don’t exist (vegan world), that they’re born into a life free of exploitation (sanctuaries), or at the very least that their suffering is as minimal as possible (high welfare).
  • To impact animals in the future, we need to:
    • Keep the far future in mind;
    • Make our impact global;
    • Make our impact structural; and,
    • Make our impact resilient to societal disruption.

If we care about animals, then we need to take the big picture into account.

In this article, we’re going to be thinking about our impact over all time—in other words, how our work affects animals who might exist in the future.

Animals Killed Each Year

First, let’s get some numbers for how many animals are killed each year. There are around 56 billion land animals killed each year for food globally, and the majority of them are chickens. There are also 1 to 3 trillion fish killed each year for food by humans each year (including bycatch, feeder fish, etc.). Over half of all animals killed for food are killed in China.

These numbers aren’t perfectly precise, but they give us a sense of the scale.

Looking Into The Future—But First, Math

But now let’s factor in the role of time: how many animals are killed each year, for all years, past and future.

(Before we start, I want to say that I know these numbers are going to be very rough estimates and guesses. But, I hope the general scale and logic of these estimates still conveys the point, even if they aren’t accurate.)

Animals Killed in the Past

To get the number of animals that humans have killed in the past, let’s assume that the number of animals killed has grown at the same rate as the human population. This model, while not being completely accurate, will at least give us a reasonable estimate for animals killed in the past.

If we use this model and go back to the year 5000 BCE, then our model estimates that humans killed around 150 trillion animals in the past. Just for context: a million seconds is about 11 days; a billion seconds is about 31 years; and a trillion seconds is around 31,700 years, or nearly 32 millennia.

150 trillion animals killed is a completely astronomical number.

Animals Killed in the Future

Now, let’s look at how many animals might be killed by humans in the future.

Because the future hasn’t happened yet, there isn’t a “correct” answer to this question—there are only guesses that we can make based on different hypothetical scenarios. I’ll walk us through a few of those scenarios so that we can get a sense of what different versions of the future might look like.

Many of them, though, show that most of the animals who have existed or will exist could exist in the future, meaning they haven’t even been born yet. (Even though the number of animals already killed by humans over the course of history is so large.)

Scenario #1: Current Consumption, Eventual Societal Collapse

In this first scenario, we’ll use a very simple model of the future: Humanity stays the exact same as it is right now, and lasts another 1000 years before society completely collapses and humans go extinct.

Since humans currently kill somewhere around 1 trillion land animals and fish each year, this scenario implies that humans would kill (1 trillion animals per year) * (1000 years) = 1000 trillion (or 1 quadrillion) more animals in the future.

In this case, 87% of all animals who humans will ever kill live in the future. (1000/(1000+150))

Scenario #2: Cyclical Society Collapse and Rebuild

Humans are pretty scrappy and can learn to live almost anywhere on the planet. If global human society were to collapse in a significant way, I think there’s a good possibility that some communities would find a way to continue surviving.

So in this scenario, let’s assume that society collapses sometime this year and brings us back to the point of ancient civilizations, somewhere around 3000 BCE. Let’s also assume that this pattern of growth and collapse will occur again in exactly the same manner as before, and that it will occur some number of times…maybe five more times before humans go extinct.

In this case, we can take the total number of animals that humans have killed for food in the past (150 trillion) and assume that humans will kill this number again in each successive cycle. This means the total number of animals killed by humans for food in the future is (150 trillion per cycle) * (5 more cycles) = 750 trillion animals, which would mean that 83% of all animals killed by humans will live in the future.

Scenario #3: Long-Term Human Civilization

With the meteoric rise of industrialization and advanced technologies like computers, it’s not hard to imagine that humans might continue developing and growing into the far future, even to the point of colonizing other planets and star systems. (It’s also not hard to imagine us using that industrialization and technology to destroy society.)

Let’s assume that the human population continues existing into the future at the current population, and continues eating animals at the current rate. We know that the human population will actually continue growing (at least for some time), and the number of animals killed for food will also probably continue growing (at least for some time), but it simplifies the calculations to assume that things remain the same—and the conclusion is still just as profound.

Humans have to go extinct at some point, even if that point is billions of years in the future (unless it turns out we can find a way to decrease entropy in the universe), so we still need to estimate a length of time that humans will exist. Let’s try two different numbers: 10,000 years, and 10,000,000 years.

If humans survive another 10,000 years killing animals for food at our current rate, then 98.5% of all those animals will exist in the future, which is already the vast majority.

But if humans survive another 10,000,000 years, then 99.999% of the animals exist in the future.

Scenario #4: Vegan World Next Year

Just because this is the world we’re all going for, let’s assume that killing animals for food becomes illegal next year and stays illegal for the rest of the history of humanity, and that we have a big old happy vegan world.

Animals will still be killed this year, but after this year zero more animals will be killed by humans for food, which means 100% of animals killed for food would be in the past. In this scenario, we’re good! Mission accomplished.

Complications—Mission Accomplished?

There are at least two primary complicating factors here that we haven’t considered:

  1. We haven’t been considering well-being, only lives. I think we could all agree that it’s better for individuals to have happy, healthy lives than miserable, sick ones. It makes a big difference whether there are 100 trillion animals who all live mostly happy and healthy lives, or whether there are 100 trillion animals whose every moment is full of suffering and torment.
  2. Our scope has remained limited to just animals killed by humans for food, which doesn’t include the very large problem of wild animal suffering, and it also doesn’t include the problem of animals killed and controlled by humans for other reasons.

Both of these issues are very important, and they both add a layer of complexity to our thinking. For now though, we’re going to leave in-depth discussions of these topics for a later date. (For a crash course on the problem of wild animal suffering, see here, here, and here.)

The Future—Recap

As you can see from the models above, it doesn’t take much before the majority of the animals actually exist in the future—and in some scenarios, practically 100% of them do.

This all gets a little bit abstract when we’re talking about the future, so what does it actually mean?

It means that we need to figure out how to make our impact last into the future so that all of those trillions (and quadrillions) of animals aren’t born into this world just to suffer and be killed by humans. If we figure it out, then we can prevent a truly astronomical amount of suffering from ever happening.

The last thing we want is for humans to go on a universe-colonizing spree and bring their animal exploiting tendencies with them to countless other planets.

Practical Takeaways (…sort of)

All of this high-minded talk about the “far future” may be interesting, but what can animal advocates practically take away from this discussion? Is this topic too far off into the hypothetical to have any real, practical advice?

I think there are several actionable takeaways here already, although I would love to see more research done in this area.

Takeaway #1—Go by the Numbers

The first implication is that we need to really look at the numbers of animals harmed and killed by humans, and look at where those numbers might increase most in the future and what kinds of animals will be affected.

As a very practical example, it could be partially the case that the demonization of red meat over the last few decades has helped give rise to the enormous numbers of chickens killed and eaten every year. Similarly, fish are already the most killed animals for food globally, by far—if we ignore them in our advocacy, we might see yet another massive increase in the numbers of fish being born, killed, and eaten. Since chickens and fish receive much less empathy from humans than pigs and cows (and fish are much harder to relate to in nearly every way), this issue can fall off the radar. In fact, getting the animal advocacy movement to talk about the huge number of chickens took quite a few years, and we’re now in the process of slowly starting to advocate more specifically for fish.

Knowing the numbers matters.

Takeaway #2—Macro Trends

A second implication of focusing on the future is that we should become students of macro-societal trends and evolutions in order to understand (a) which big, lasting shifts occur in societies, and (b) how those shifts occurred.

We can look to other social movements to see how victories were achieved, like the civil rights movement or the marriage equality movement. We can study the rise of intensive animal farming, or the history of animal agriculture from the beginning of humanity until now. And we can also ask, “Which ideas have lasted the longest?”, and then deconstruct which practices or features of those ideas helped them to survive. For example, we could look to ideas from old religions and civilizations that have lasted through long stretches of time and influenced modern society, and hypothesize what made them different from other ideas that didn’t have as much of an influence.

A great example of analyzing macro trends is the book The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker, which looks at the global decline in violence over the course of human history. Similar studies can be found (or conducted) for other phenomena as well.

Takeaway #3—Global Focus

One very specific macro trend is the importance of looking globally.

I live in the United States, which directly accounts for about 2% of all animals killed for food by humans each year. China, on the other hand, accounts for about 50% of all animals killed for food each year. India accounts for another 10%, and Indonesia for yet another 8%. (source)

Let’s say we completely end animal farming in the United States. While this would be a great accomplishment by itself, it would only spare 2% of the animals killed for food. To have a significant impact, that accomplishment would need to influence countries like China, India, and Indonesia.

We have to keep our focus global. With two-thirds of all the world’s farmed animals living in China, India, and Indonesia, we have to remember that success for farmed animals in the US or UK or Australia doesn’t necessarily translate to global success.

Takeaway #4—Resilience to Societal Disruption

Human societies change—constantly.

Just for a little perspective…

  • Christianity came into existence about 1900 years ago.
  • The (Western) Roman Empire stopped existing around 1500 years ago.
  • Islam came into existence around 1400 years ago.
  • The American Revolution was 236 years ago.
  • The French Revolution was 220 years ago.
  • Slavery was abolished in the British Empire 186 years ago.
  • WWI was 101 years ago, and WWII was 74 years ago.
  • The first radio news program was broadcast 99 years ago.
  • The internet went public about 30 years ago.
  • The Soviet Union stopped existing 28 years ago.
  • 9/11 was 18 years ago.
  • The first iPhone came out 12 years ago.
  • Instagram came out 9 years ago.
  • The AI system Watson defeated the two reigning Jeopardy! champions 8 years ago.
  • A self-driving semi truck drove on public roads without a human inside for the first time 1 year ago.

Just a gentle reminder that we have very little idea what the future is going to look like. And because of this, we need our progress for animals to be global, and to be resilient to massive societal disruptions and overhauls and shifts in power.

What happens if we achieve total animal liberation in the United States, and then China goes on to become the major world power and ethical influence? What if there’s another global war? What if a quasi-apocalypse happens and much of human society is destroyed? How does the rise of artificial intelligence affect our ethical progress? How might our morals change when we send humans to other planets?

Our ethical progress must be able to survive these disruptions if we want to prevent the huge amount of suffering and death that could happen if animal exploitation continued existing into the far future.

Takeaway #5—Focus on Structural Changes

How does something last from one generation of humans to the next? Or from one millennia to the next?

It lasts because of something that carries it forward into the future. That “something” is often a structural entity of some sort: a religion, a culture, a government, a corporation, a university, a law.

If you change someone’s mind about something, and that person changes their behavior, and then that person dies (as we all do eventually), how do the changes they made continue into the future? They only last if they impact someone else who is still alive. This is why we can’t just rely on changing the attitudes and behavior of individual people—because we then depend on those people to propagate that change into the future on their own.

Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.

Influencing structures, on the other hand, increases the probability of the change being carried forward.

Takeaway #6—Focus on Moral Circle Expansion, Aided by Technological Progress

We can’t trick people into doing the right thing for the wrong reason, because at some point the wrong reason won’t be applicable and people will change again.

For example, as powerful and as useful as health and environmental arguments are for veganism (and they are useful!), we must at some point bring in the full weight of the ethical argument if we are to make lasting progress for animals.

This ethical progress is the process of expanding humanity’s moral circle.

Second, technological progress can greatly aid this process. As Malala Yousafzai‘s father discovered, people are much more open to girls’ education when they have clean water.” It’s hard to care about higher ethics when you feel like you’re having a hard time meeting basic needs—and to some people, completely switching their way of eating can feel like a need isn’t being met. Technology is another name for “creative use of resources to meet needs”. We should use it.


I hope this article has at least prompted some thought about the importance of making our impact last into the far future. This is a big topic—and very complex and uncertain—so we need all of us to be thinking about it in relation to our activism.

For more discussion of the moral value of beings in the far future, check out:

And maybe with all of us working on it, we’ll get this problem solved in the not-too-far-future.

Animal Movement Project (AMP) is a platform dedicated to building the movement for animals.

We share thoughts and ideas that can take the movement for animals from x to 10x. Our focus is predominantly on animals exploited for food since they account for more than 99% of the animals exploited by humans. The topics covered are often about ways to tie the pieces of the movement together or to fill in the gaps. We focus on connecting people, ideas, and resources to each other.

I Asked Activists What They Need—Part 1

I wanted to know what people in our movement need. So I asked them. This post is as simple as that.

Specifically, I asked them to answer these three questions about their animal activism:

  1. What do you need?
  2. What are your problems?
  3. What are your opportunities?

This wasn’t a formal survey—I didn’t ask many people, or code and quantify the results, or get a representative sample. But I think it’s still valuable, in a smaller, more personal way.

This type of question-asking is something I carry with me in everyday life. It’s immensely valuable to pick up thoughts, ideas, and needs on an ongoing basis. The “just ask some people” type of survey is open to all of us. Not only do you get some answers that may surprise you, but it’s also a good way to meet activists from around the world.

Also, one thing to note is that you might disagree with some of the answers people give when you do this kind of exercise. In fact, if you’re talking to a diverse enough group of people, you’re almost sure to be challenged and stretched. (Read the responses I got, and see what kind of internal intellectual or emotional response they prompt in you.) What’s important is recognizing that these are the genuine feelings and thoughts of other activists in our movement. That perspective is valuable.

Here are the almost-verbatim answers (with some minor changes to aid reading and comprehension) from the activists who I asked: Corey Rowland, Beau Broughton, Jocelyn Cole, Faraz Harsini, and Tonia Moore.


Corey Rowland

What do I need?

I had trouble forming my answer to this because I often am not sure what I need. I think I need opportunities to connect with myself and others. I am very aware of the risk of activist burnout because I can feel it building in myself or others at times. I think being a part of a supportive and loving community is really important in sustaining the work we are doing. I also need opportunities to see the impacts of my efforts. I need to feel like the work I am doing is paying off in some way.

What are my problems?

My biggest challenges are definitely time and specifically deciding how to spend my time. Living in the SF Bay Area, there is always so much to do (both in the animals rights community and of course outside of it). I work as a high school teacher, which can suck up a lot of your time if you aren’t careful! I think I also struggle with a lot of self-doubt. I want to get better at trusting myself and to be more willing to take risks. Sometimes the ideas that sound the silliest can be game-changing! I often have ideas, but because of the hustle-and-bustle of life and my dismissive attitude, I think I let opportunities pass me by.

What are my opportunities?

In the past year I have learned that my greatest opportunities as an activist can come from the awkward, uncomfortable, sometimes threatening intersections of my identity as an activist and all the other roles I fill. I was fired from my teaching job earlier this year for getting arrested in a mass action and it ended up being an experience I would never want to undo (I learned a lot and thankfully, got my job back!). I am also a friend, family member, artist, and ally in other movements. I belong to social circles outside of the AR movement, and this can be leveraged to build support from folks in these circles. I think it is crucial for activists to remain genuinely involved in communities outside of the animal rights community so we can best utilize our growing power and remain conscious of how animal rights fits into the bigger picture that is the world!

Beau Broughton

What do you need?

We need volunteers from all walks of life to lend their passion and dedication to our efforts to end the abuse of animals raised for food. The Humane League acknowledges that there are myriad ways to influence change for farmed animals, so we have a big tent in welcoming supporters of all stripes. We are looking for online activists, for volunteers to help with community-building events and fundraising, for dedicated advocates to join us at protests and other campaign actions, and for influencers to spread our message on social media, to name a few.

What are your problems?

It can be challenging to see change occur at a slower pace than we’d like, or may have previously anticipated. For example, in our work encouraging major corporations to implement welfare policies for egg-laying hens or broiler chickens, it may take months or even years for a company to make a public commitment that meets our standards. So, while it’s not necessarily a problem, since we are making major gains with dozens of companies and changing public perception of farmed animals, it’s important to have perspective. As activists, we want the world to change yesterday, but we must be strategic and pace ourselves for the long fight ahead.

What are your opportunities?

At The Humane League, we have great opportunities for seasoned and aspiring activists across the spectrum of involvement levels. We have the Fast Action Network for those “armchair activists” who want to take a few high-impact actions online a few times each week. We also have opportunities for people to plug into on-the-ground actions with our team of full-time grassroots staff in major cities across the country, as well as volunteer coordinators to facilitate actions with those who may live outside a major city.

Jocelyn Cole

What do you need?

I think the movement for animal liberation could benefit greatly from more consistently dwelling in nonviolence and agape love (both behaviorally and at mind). Thus, I need to take the time to figure out what steps I can take, and what specific work I can do to help make the types of cultural changes I would like to see.

What are your problems?

I am putting my efforts and energy in many different directions, thus potentially keeping me from taking the time to figure out the steps mentioned above. I think the content of nonviolence and agape is relevant to all aspects of the movement, and of an organization, but currently I am struggling with where to start.

What are your opportunities?

I am surrounded by a community with a lot of experience and knowledge, endless opportunities to train and better myself, and spaces to learn from and connect with each other. I have close friends who help me grow as an individual and as an activist, and together we are doing the best we can to help and be the movement.

Faraz Harsini

What do you need?

Money. Eventually you can do anything with money.

What are your problems?


Let me combine 1 and 2 and explain! If I had the money, here are things that I’d focus on:

A—Informing/educating people. This would accomplish another thing that I think is important: normalizing veganism. You know how we quote Melanie Joy all the time, that the reason people eat meat is because it’s normal, necessary, and natural. So we should do the reverse and normalize veganism!

Informing people can be accomplished via different approaches, and some of my favorite ones are:

I—What Ethical Choices Program (ECP) does. They have about 150-200 educators in many cities in the US, and recently India and Canada too. They are very well organized (I personally have observed how they manage all these educators), and they go to high schools. They have four types of presentations: ethical based, environmental based, health based, and a combination of all. They reach out to teachers and ask if they’ll let them give these presentations in a related class. But the thing is ALL the presentations include a 3-4 minute video showing slaughterhouses, etc! I’ve seen the comments from the kids and how successful this has been. Teachers are stubborn, but a lot of kids actually listen. The last time I checked a year ago, they were reaching out to something like 20,000 students! And by now it’s probably more! If you think about it, this is a good portion of all the high school students! A lot of kids actually can’t become vegan right away because of their parents. But what it does is that when this generation becomes parents, or when they grow up, when they hear veganism they would be much more accepting than our parents! This is the best way to invest for the future (probably 10 years), but it will have a great return.

II—I would spend some of that money on advertisement, and education through advertisement. In the last Animal Rights Conference I asked a lot of influential AR activists that if you had so much money to spend on advertisement, what message would you choose—ethics, environmental, etc. One of the best things I got out of this last ARC is actually the answer to this question! It would be the health-related messages. Because what eventually caused a huge drop in the rate of cigarette smoking was the health ads. So we went from ads with doctors who were pro smoking, to today, that smoking is not COOL anymore! We should make eating animals like that!

Source: Annual adult per capita cigarette consumption and major smoking and health events in United States, 1900-1998 – Hanson, Venturelli, and Fleckenstein (2009). Pulled from Our World in Data – Smoking.

Also I always say from here to your workplace, how many times are you exposed to unhealthy and carcinogenic foods? And how many times you see something actually healthy, encouraging people to eat fruits and veggies?Almost all TV and radio ads have some sort of animal abuse or unhealthy thing in them.

Sidenote: I think health related things are something tangible for people. It’s their body, their health. And the habits and behaviours of one individual can have negative impact and consequences on the same individual. Environmental issues are not tangible for people. Also even if they understand the issues, the responsibilities get diluted between a lot of people so they don’t feel bad as much. An ethical approach I believe is something in between. But I think that should be included in those ads so every now and then people see the word “vegan”, on buses, in metro stations, etc.

III—Having more vegan doctors. That and what Dr. Greger does, taking new scientific data, and making them simple and understandable. This is very effective because, first, most people don’t understand science (lol), and, second, because they don’t have any ideas what scientists do and where these new information come from! However, I’m not sure but I’m afraid that most of his audiences are already vegan. So a combination of everything I said about advertisement would be necessary to get the message across. And I will invest on this.

Bottom line: In my opinion having an organized mechanism for advertisement would be extremely effective. This includes different approaches at the same time: some ads saying meat is like smoking, some ethical related, etc.

I actually had one of the students in our AR org come up with a design that is catchy, relating meat and cancer (fig. below).

Sources: NCBI, IARC, and WHO

B—Making vegan things cheaper and available. This is why I want to have a chain restaurant if I had money, and offer very tasty and cheaper foods there. When I get a pizza and I ask them to remove cheese and meat and use vegan cheese, and they charge me more for it, that doesn’t help people consider veganism as something normal and easy. Reaching out to chain restaurants to have vegan options also helps.

A huge barrier for people becoming vegan in my opinion is the picture that they imagine when you say vegan food. They probably think, “Oh so… you basically eat salads”, or, “Veggie burgers suck” (because they tried them 10 years ago, and sure they sucked back then, but today is a different story). Or many think the meat alternative is tofu! They don’t think about all the great stuff that we have. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT (in my humble opinion) TO CHANGE THAT IMAGE! We need them to imagine a tasty Impossible Burger (which isn’t available in all places, which is another issue). So I would donate money to some organization to take care of it.

One other thing I would want to do if I were rich would be to start a company. This company would have teams. (And I should say this is in my childish imagination, having no information about how businesses work). So in each team there’s a lawyer or businessman or investor, and a representative from a vegan distribution center (or someone who can manage and restock vegan foods in stores). This team would reach out to places that serve or produce non-vegan stuff, and help them to make the transition to a vegan place.

I got this idea after I was in a protest in front of store that produced fresh chicken meat, meaning they slaughtered the chicken right there, probably in the backyard. During our protest, the owner was extremely angry. He was red and was yelling. Police were there just making sure we stay on the sidewalk. Then cops thought it was fine, and they left. Next, a few activists broke into the store, and forcefully saved several chickens. This is not a comment about their action. I just started to look at this from the owner’s perspective. When he goes back to his friends and family, how will he describe veganism? I think if my dad came home and said this happened to him, I would have hated vegans forever! Also, in any talk with customers or any opportunity he finds, he would trash-talk veganism. So I thought, “What if instead of this much hate, we did something positive?” So this team would go there, and say, “Hey, we’ll give you money for investment, we’ll help you to make the transition, we’ll take care of all the paperwork and legal stuff for you! Most importantly we’ll advertise for you. And hey, eventually you will make way more money than you do now!”

This would accomplish several things at once:

  • Spreads good words about veganism. He would then tell his family and friends how successful his business has become! So we’re basically planting seeds this way.
  • Makes non-vegan stuff less available. This is another important factor that makes eating meat inconvenient! Eventually, most people just want something easy and cheap!

What are your opportunities?

In my case, the plan is that I will work on clean meat for a few years, and during this time I will learn a little about businesses and find connections and people who trust me and partner up with me, maybe to start a restaurant, or something to do with clean meat. Or both.

Lastly, I said money and business a lot in my answer, but the truth is my goal has never been becoming rich. My only goal is to do the most effective thing to save animals. But I can’t do all of these things alone. However, if I were rich, I could support other orgs to do these kinds of things. Maybe some of these things are already happening, but if they had more money they could do much more.

Also, with money, you can influence politics—for example, meat taxes, restricting import and export of animal products to other countries, or passing more animal protection laws. You know how much the egg/dairy/meat industries have manipulated people via politics, well, with money we can neutralize that!

Tonia Moore

What do you need?

What I need is a better understanding of where to focus my efforts (i.e., what types of actions are most likely to result in the most change?). I love doing outreach, for example, but I also suspect that convincing people one at a time to adopt a vegan lifestyle is probably not going to change much, if anything, for somebody trapped on a farm facing an early death. There are so many channels that may lead to animal liberation—legislation (working within the political and legal systems), protests, going into places of enslavement to expose the truth—I feel like I can’t do everything and doing a little bit of each may just be exhausting and ineffective…

What are your problems?

My problems are (similar to question #1) figuring out exactly what methods work and are worth my time. And also how to deal with my own emotions better. I get enraged when animals are suffering and dying — but my rage doesn’t help the animals, tears me up inside, and turns people outside the movement off so that they won’t respect the movement or listen to what we have to say. I need to learn to keep my emotions in check without imploding.

What are your opportunities?

I am starting to realize that opportunities for outreach present themselves every day. For example, if someone admires your faux leather coat, you volunteer the info that it’s vegan. I also have opportunities to open the minds and hearts of loved ones but sometimes I shy away from these discussions because I fear I’ll feel super disappointed (crushed, actually) if they don’t see the animals’ perspective. I find myself sometimes not engaging on AR issues with the people I’m closest to because I’m afraid they won’t understand and our relationship will suffer.

Animal Movement Project (AMP) is a platform dedicated to building the movement for animals.

We share thoughts and ideas that can take the movement for animals from x to 10x. Our focus is predominantly on animals exploited for food since they account for more than 99% of the animals exploited by humans. The topics covered are often about ways to tie the pieces of the movement together or to fill in the gaps. We focus on connecting people, ideas, and resources to each other.